TODAY |

Australian states pop travel bubble with New Zealand after Auckland declared Covid hotspot

Four Australian states have now reinstated restrictions for travellers from New Zealand, pausing the one-way travel bubble.

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The ban is set to last until March 6, but will be reviewed every three days, officials said today. Source: 1 NEWS

Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania have all declared Auckland a Covid-19 hotspot until March 6, subject to a three-day review.

It comes after three Covid-19 cases were discovered on Tuesday, linked to the Auckland cluster announced by the Ministry of Health on Valentine's Day.

The cases in this cluster have been found to be the B.1.1.7 variant of the virus, known as the UK variant.

It's more transmissible than the initial form of the virus.

More than 1200 people in Auckland are being categorised as close contacts of the latest case, who went to work in Kmart Botany on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

Those people, and anyone else who has been at the store during the relevant times, are required to isolate for 14 days and get tested twice for Covid-19, five days and 12 days after their initial exposure.

New Zealand officials reckon they've got a ring around the outbreak, having dropped the country to Alert Level 1 on Monday.

But Australia's not so sure and officials there have opted to burst the one-way travel bubble.

Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania now require a 14-day quarantine for all travellers from Auckland.

Unlike in New Zealand, arrivals don't have to book an isolation hotel in advance.

Anyone who arrived in recent days, before the travel bubble was suspended, is also asked to get a Covid-19 test immediately and isolate until they get a negative result.

It comes as New South Wales saw its 39th consecutive day without a locally acquired case of Covid-19.